You may be surprised to know that dog bite cases are a subcategory of personal injury law. If you sustained a dog bite injury while on public property or legally at a private residence, you may have a legitimate personal injury claim entitling you to financial compensation. Successful personal injury claims can lead to substantial settlement awards, allowing dog bite victims to recover damages like medical expenses, lost wages, lost future earnings, pain and suffering, and more.
Let’s examine the steps you should take if you suffer a dog bite injury, the components of a personal injury claim for these incidents, and the legal remedies available to victims of a canine attack. The Bakersfield, California, dog bite injury lawyers at Dordulian Law Group understand these accidents can be traumatic, and our highly skilled legal team is prepared to answer any questions you may have to help you through this challenging time.
Personal injury law is typically associated with car wrecks, defective products, or slip and fall accidents. However, dog bite cases are also classified under the umbrella of personal injury law. Similar to a property owner or manager’s responsibility in preventing accidents or injuries from occurring on their premises, California law requires dog owners to control their pets at all times.
Compensation for dog bite injury claims may include a number of damages. Some common examples include:
Medical complications can result from a dog bite no matter how benign the bite may seem. Your local Animal Control Office is a great resource. They can instruct you through the report filing process and provide insights regarding the prevalence of rabies in your community. If you have been bitten by a dog you suspect to be rabid, you must seek immediate medical attention.
Despite California’s strict dog bite regulations, the state has the second-highest rate of dog bite fatalities in the U.S. If you are one of the four million Americans who suffer a dog bite injury each year which requires medical attention, you may be entitled to personal injury compensation for your resulting physical and emotional distress. The COVID-19 pandemic seems to be correlated to a spike in dog bite cases, with more people at home and in close proximity to their pets. One Colorado children’s hospital treated three times as many pediatric dog bite injuries last year according to US News & Reports(USN). If you or your loved one are a victim of one of these attacks, there are important steps you should take post-attack to ensure your health, safety, and protect the legal viability of your claim.
The qualified legal professionals at the Bakersfield, California, Dordulian Law Group office can file a claim against the dog owner on your behalf. Our highly skilled team will guide you through collecting information to support your case. Do not let the pet owner or insurance company intimidate you and deny you the compensation you deserve.
Ready to file a claim and pursue justice through a financial damages award? Our expert attorneys are available online or by phone now.
In the state of California, a dog bite victim is not required to prove negligence or prior knowledge of the dog’s aggression. California dog owners are required to maintain control of their at all times animals and keep others safe. Therefore, California law places the responsibility on the pet’s owner. This is what’s known as “strict liability.”
Most home and renter’s insurance policies cover dog bites. In fact, dog bites are the most common claim for these insurance policies. However, some dog breeds may be more aggressive than others, and insurance policies may have restrictions for the following dog breeds, as listed by Policy Genius(PG):
Dog attacks may involve being knocked down, pinned, scratched and clawed, or bitten. Section 3342 of the California Civil Code places the liability on pet owners only when a bite is sustained. While you do not need to prove negligence if you were bitten, you will need to prove it in the event that you were attacked but not bitten. Personal injury cases require three conditions to be met for these situations:
It is important to seek expert legal counsel swiftly following a dog bite or attack. A free consultation with Dordulian Law Group is an opportunity to receive an estimate related to the potential monetary value of your dog bite claim.
Under California law, both the pet owner and the victim of a dog bite must file an incident report with the local county health officer. Whether you receive a minor wound or one requiring major medical attention, you are required to immediately report the incident to your respective health officer.
Moreover, any doctor in California who treats a dog bite injury is also required to file an incident report. The Department of Animal Services classifies a serious bite as one that substantially impairs one’s physical condition, including but not limited to bites resulting in: concussion, loss of consciousness, fractures, loss of extremities or use of extremities, surgeries, sutures, or disfigurement.
Though you are not required to file a police report, doing so may be extremely advantageous for recovering punitive damages from the pet owner in a civil case. Even if you consider your bite to be a “minor” injury, you may still need medical attention. Furthermore, you should never be responsible for the resulting medical bills following a dog bite or attack. According to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, even in less severe dog bite cases the possibility exists that the victim may experience Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), cynophobia (fear of dogs), or agoraphobia (fear of leaving one’s house). All of those conditions may warrant the victim being entitled to compensation for psychological distress (UPMC).
Certain pieces of information may be very beneficial for your legal counsel as they prepare your dog bite case:
Proving liability in a dog bite claim requires you to establish the following:
Make sure you consult one of our experienced Bakersfield dog bite injury attorneys at DLG immediately following an attack. Our dedicated legal team has recovered over $100 million for personal injury victims like you, and we are committed to fighting for the maximum settlement you deserve.
On average, dog bite victims receive $40,000 for their claims. However, damages awards for dog bite claims can vary significantly depending on the facts of the case. It is important that you seek legal counsel so you are not swindled by the pet owner or insurance company. A $40,000 settlement is not a guaranteed outcome, and individual case results will vary. One family in Hartford, Connecticut, was awarded a $100,000 settlement for the injuries their 7-year-old daughter sustained from a Pit Bull attack while attending an engagement party.
The experienced dog bite injury attorneys at DGL will consider the severity of the injury, your medical expenses, psychological distress, therapy costs, and lost wages to provide you with an estimate for the ultimate amount of compensation you will likely be awarded for your claim.
If you have been injured in a dog bite incident, turn to the experienced legal team at Dordulian Law Group. Our dedicated attorneys have decades of experience successfully taking on insurance companies who would try to lowball your settlement.
According to California’s statute of limitations, dog bite victims have two years from the date of the incident to file a claim. There is an exception to this statute if the victim is under 18 at the time of the injury. The Humane Society estimates that 51% of dog bite victims are under 18, and children ages five-nine have the highest rate of dog bite-related incidences. Any dog bite injury that occurs before the age of 18 gives the individual until age 20 to file a claim.
Even if you file your claim within the two-year period, time is of the essence. After an injury, immediately contact the Bakersfield dog bite injury attorneys at DLG so we can work swiftly to gather evidence and recover the settlement you and your loved ones deserve.
While California is a “strict liability” state, the defendant may attempt to shirk responsibility for the incident by trying to prove the victim provoked the dog, was trespassing, or the dog was protecting the defendant.
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Every case’s circumstances are unique, that’s why you need an experienced legal team you can trust. Dordulian Law Group is committed to easing the financial and emotional burdens dog bite victims experience. Contact one of our Bakersfield dog bite injury attorneys today and see if your case entitles you to compensation. Our dedicated attorneys are standing by to answer your questions and support you through this difficult time.
If you’ve been injured by a dog bite, request a free consultation with a DLG personal injury lawyer today. Our no win/no fee policy guarantees our commitment to fighting for the compensation you deserve without adding to your financial burden. You never pay a penny until we recover maximum financial compensation.
For the past 20 years, we have helped victims just like you recover the settlements they deserve. We have secured more than $100,000,000 for our personal injury and dog bite clients, and are here to fight on your behalf in a time of need.
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